South-South Policy Workshop on Village Law


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In the lead-up to revision of the law governing village (suku) councils in Timor-Leste, the Ministry for State Administration (MSA) in the Government of Timor-Leste requested that the World Bank conduct a ‘South-South’ workshop. The purpose was to give MSA officials and the legal drafting team an opportunity to learn from village governance experiences in other countries, and to discuss implications for the draft legislation in Timor-Leste.  The World Bank engaged Bridging Peoples to facilitate this workshop, which included local governance experts from Nepal, South Africa, Mozambique and India, and senior officials in the Government of Timor-Leste.

In close consultation with senior Timorese Government officials, Bridging Peoples Director Deborah Cummins worked with World Bank staff and MSA staff to design workshop discussions to avoid presenting certain systems as ‘best international practice,’ but instead to  inspire new ideas and encourage laws and policies that may work for the Timorese cultural context.

Many policy recommendations from this workshop were adopted in the legislation that was subsequently drafted, in particular strengthening the legal focus on encouraging citizen engagement.

This project was conducted in 2014.

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